Need advice please- how to tell struggling friend. — The Bump
November 2017 Moms

Need advice please- how to tell struggling friend.

I am sorry if this discussion is only helping me, but I was hoping maybe some of you who have struggled with infertility could help me find a way to tell my good friend that I am expecting. I have known her for a little less than a year really but we are good friends and I know she has been struggling with infertility for a long time now so I want to be able to tell her in a way that doesn't make it worse. We work across the hall from each other so I'm aware that it will kind of be right in front of her. My heart aches for her and I want to be able to let her know that though I don't understand her feelings in the same way I will respect her feelings and however she needs to be with me.  I just can't find words that don't sound hollow and useless.

Re: Need advice please- how to tell struggling friend.

  • Absolutely appreciate all the help, it is so easy to hurt someone who is already hurting and it helps to hear it from those who know best.
  • I agree with everyone else. When I was struggling with IF it was so much easier to get the news via text. I was able to process and cry without making anyone feel bad and without having to put on a fake happy face. Then the next time I saw them I could express my genuine happiness for them.

    Pregnancy Ticker

  • Im going through something similar. My Sister is struggling with infertility. All shes ever wanted is a family & has been collecting baby items for as long as I can remember. Shes even expressed to me she would be devastated if I got pregnant before she did... I'm waiting as long as I can before I tell the family so I can give her a few extra months without the extra pressure of "How can my sister get pregnant and I cant?" My heart is breaking for her. 
  • My SIL dealt with an issue like this... She wrote a letter to her friend and in the letter told her the news and added a line that said something like "I'm here when you're ready to talk about this" and that way the friend was able to approach her on her own terms.
  • Adding a +1 to what @pawcall and @kdremington and others said. Let her know in a way that gives her time to save face. I liked text for this (I know others think it's too informal but I'm a big fan). Don't complain about your pregnancy symptoms to her. Let her know you're there if she wants to talk about her IF. And honestly? Talk about other things -- work, hobbies, hilarious family drama, anything. You wouldn't believe how often people only want to talk about babies and something else is a welcome distraction. Good luck! 
    DH & I: Both 28
    TTC #1 June 2016
    IF Dx: Premature ovarian insufficiency and luteal phase defect associated with genetic condition
    BFP 2/23/17. Said goodbye to our baby girl at 14 weeks.
    IVF+PGD September 2017 -- 9R, 9M, 7F, 5B; 2 healthy embryos, 1 questionable
    FET November 2017 - failed
    FET December 2017 - success! EDD 9/16/18

  • Maybe this is just me but my recommendation is to keep it simple as possible. I've not struggled with IF exactly but my friends have and the more sensitive people are around them, the harder it is for them. Think about it, if you have something you rather not, and every time people get all super touchy felt around you- it would make you realize more that something is different or missing. Atleast that's what my friend told me. My suggestion would be to inform them simply and casually whether its email or in person but agree it should be such that they have time to process and then leave it at that. I would not make any more of it by asking if they want to talk about it or make a sad face when telling them etc. ( or even tooting your excitement ). Let them decide to come to you. 

  • DH and I struggled with IF for some time and I would just second what everyone else has already said.  Those who told me privately were much appreciated.  I only had one girl tell me over text and I appreciated that as well.  Honestly, as hard as it was, and as much as I did have to put on a face, I appreciated being told in person (one even made it a phone call) because, again, as hard as it was, they were my friends and I was happy for them and I didn't want my memory of finding out to be via text.  Because if IF weren't a thing- that's not how they'd tell me.  The one that texted wasn't a close friend but was someone who had been walking the IF road with me.  Both methods were appreciated.  If you do tell them in person, keep the visit short (it takes a lot of energy to hide pain and each announcement hits differently.  Don't underestimate their poker face.) and have a different topic to end the conversation on.
    The two worst ones were the two who announced to a group that I "happened" to be in.  Both knew our struggles and both promised it was an accident and they weren't trying (PLEASE for the love of God do not tell them that!).  I cried for days after both those announcements.  Not because I wasn't happy for them- I was!  But because they knew and they didn't even try to be gentle.  One of the girls even admitted to me she just thought it would be too awkward to tell me privately.
    I think you're a wonderful friend just for seeking advice.  It obviously shows how much you care!  But whether in person or via text, tell her privately- so she knows what we all know about how much you care.
    After the fact care: Be happy.  It's hard to go through IF.  It's harder when you feel like people are hiding what "little joy the world has" from you.  Try not to complain as a habit, but it's ok to be honest if there's a particular morning that food isn't sitting right and you just need to wish you could eat whatever she's snacking on.  ASK HER.  There were friends that I wanted updates on and there were friends I couldn't handle it.  It's a two way street.  Try to be considerate, but she's got to be honest (considerately) too.
    Good luck!
    Me:27 (diagnosed anovulatory May 2016)  DH:29 (normal)
    Met 2008 | Dated 2010 | Married 2012
    TTC#1 since June 2015
    June 2016- 50mg generic clomid CDs 5-9 w/TI | 2 follies (14 & 12), thin (2.45) lining | BFN
    July 2016- 1mg estradiol CDs 1-7, 50mg generic clomid CDs 5-9 w/TI | 2 follies (14 & 10), thin (~4) lining | BFN
    August 2016- 1mg estradiol CDs 1-7, 50mg generic clomid CDs 5-9 w/TI | BFN | Referred to specialist, visited once, was told we have less than a 3% chance even on medication, recommended to IUI for up to a 50% chance, decided not to pursue at this time | Stopped "trying"
    October 2016- We became licensed foster parents
    November 9, 2016- Arrival of DD#1, 4yo
    March 1, 2017- 1 day late, feel like crap (low fever & exhausted) | Mom suggested test before taking meds, I laughed but did it anyway | BFP! *shock*

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    BabyFruit Ticker

  • I've had a similar struggle with my SIL. They've been married longer than we have(10+yrs now) they've always talked about having kids since they got married but they just haven't had them. They aren't pursuing big careers or anything so we assume they are dealing with IF, but they haven't come out and said so. They've always been happy for us and love our kids, but now we are having our 4th and every time I feel like I want to be sensitive to their feelings, but I don't really know where they are at and can't exactly come out and ask them. 
    Married DH 2008
    DS-Born 2/2011
    DD-Born 5/2013
    DD- Born 4/2016
    Baby #4 Due November 2017! 

  • My sister and BIL already have one child but have been trying years to have another and quite recently I got pregnant and our SIL got pregnant and the truth is that while they are completely supportive and loving of us it can be the hardest thing for a woman to go through and to have so many people that you love in your life flaunting it. Eventually she came around but I texted her that I loved her and made sure she knew that I was symphathetic even though this is supposed to be an exciting time for my fiance and I. She told me she loved me and that she just needed some time and she felt she was being childish. Make sure they know that it isn't childish and their personal struggles are important to you, sadly our SIL thinks she is just being dramatic and shouldn't be taking the spotlight away from us, and that is definitely not how people should view it. It is a serious situation that can cause people to get very depressed and it is important that we handle these situations with love. 
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